Memoir: Writings of Rhoda Press

The Priestess

Priestess is she of space where free
from forms the Spirit broods
among deserts, oceans and dunes.
Priestess is she of Memory
(quickened by scents, by stillness)
that winds from former lives,
Reality unclogged by body’s ill.
The huge wind haunts her sky
and quickens the worlds that lie
asleep in her, outside of time, until
in patience and in purity she hears
there in the hollows of space
where the wind scoops bliss
the eternal ocean of the universe.

Ocean Throat

Ocean throat, well of peace,
Draw me back like a wave
Into your being’s bliss
My sky-blue childhood.
Draw me back
From the seething edge of teeth,
The roaring that feeds
On the soul’s food,
Into the deep heart of sleep
Home of my healing.
Crowned I will rise, and unfurl
Over the curve of the earth
My white sea wings, with songs
I will arise – with praise –
And hold the earth firm in my embrace.

Sing Heart

Sing heart
that from a dark
pit has risen.
Sing heart
that now you go
about the earth
bearing new birth.
Of patience,
silent silver seam
That cracks the dark
Sing heart.
Breathe heart
of the terror-surging pit
where revolting eyes turn inward
and the flesh,
mottled with horror, spits
and vomits
forth the spirit.
Speak heart, of Search:
the desperate search to death,
the knifeblade walk, the purge
of the gathered dross of years.
And the crossing (on an untried
thread of spiderlike spun
from the entrails) of a mad-smiling abyss.
Of a waiting at the window, a pleading
at the sky, the dumb bleeding
of dawns drained white.
Sing heart
of the Sea
that bursts from sunrise
with a rush of foam vision white,
O silverflitting bees
Sunmantling the seas
Sing heart.
Sing joy-shot heart
Catching the wind in my throat
I wave the veil of the sky.